One of the biggest challenges in the workplace is finding the time to check off all of the items on your to-do list. If you can relate to the time management struggle, here are several productivity tips to help you work smarter and avoid working longer hours:
1. Give each task a deadline.
While you’ll be given a number of assignments that have defined deadlines, other projects may be more open-ended. If a deadline is not specified, create your own deadline. This will hold you accountable to completing the task in a timely manner. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you’re watching the clock.
2. Schedule brief breaks throughout the workday.
Even though breaks may sound counterintuitive, stepping away from an assignment for a few moments will help to improve your concentration and allow you to complete tasks at your peak performance.
3. Implement a two-minute rule.
Throughout the workday you’ll be faced with a number of small tasks that can be completed quickly. Implement the two-minute rule and commit to immediately taking care of tasks that can be completed within two minutes. This will prevent you from having to back-track later in the day to complete these tasks.
4. Limit the amount of meetings on your calendar.
Most employees would agree that meetings are the biggest productivity drainers in the workplace. Only attend meetings if it’s imperative that you be there. Before accepting an invitation to a meeting, determine if it’s something that can be accomplished via a conference call or web-based meeting.
5. Stop multitasking.
You won’t be able to do a quality job if you take on too many tasks at once. Instead, complete a single task well before moving on to the next one.
6. Make the most of your commute.
Get more out of your workday by using your commute to return phone calls, respond to emails, and create your daily to-do list.
7. Minimize distractions.
Block out an hour early in the morning or later in the evening to take care of tasks without distractions. Turn off notifications on your phone and email, and use an app like Cold Turkey to temporarily block tempting websites. Minimizing distractions will help you to complete time-sensitive projects faster.
Instead of putting in longer hours at the office, use these proven tips to work smarter and be more productive in the workplace.